I have been employed by the Dept of Navy for almost 36 years. I was married to my ex-wife for about 14 of those years. I'm planning to retire within the next one to three years and I have questions regarding her entitlement to my retirement benefits.
First, I'm under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which is not tied in with Social Security like the newer retirement system. Also, my active duty Navy time will count toward my civilian retirement. My question is whether my ex is entitled to part of my Federal retirement and if so how much?
An interesting sidelight to this issue is that over the years she has almost never been employed and for the past 20 years (we were divorced in 1991) she has received SSI and disability from the state (we live in California). I'm under the impression that if she receives income from my retirement it will decrease the amount of money and benefits she receives from state or other Federal programs. For example she is living in Section 8 housing and if her income increases above a certain level I believe she loses that benefit. So getting part of my retirement may not help her much, but may hurt me.
I'm thinking perhaps I can get her to agree to some type of one-time or monthly payment directly from me in exchange for waiving her rights to my retirement. Does this make sense? What's the best way to approach this? How this plays out will affect when I retire and whether or not I can remain in California.
I greatly appreciate any and all input, advice, and personal experience.